From Comcast SportsNetNEW YORK (AP) -- The NFL has devised a temporary five-week schedule for using replacement officials.A person familiar with the schedule told The Associated Press on Monday that the setup is done through Week 5 of the regular season. The regular officials are locked out and replacements worked the preseason and the first week of the regular season.The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the league has not made public officiating schedules.In early June, the league locked out the officials, who are part-time NFL employees, after their collective bargaining agreement expired. The NFL Referees Association and the league met for three days at the beginning of September before talks collapsed.The NFL and the union, which covers more than 120 on-field officials, are at odds over salary, retirement benefits and operational issues. The NFL has said its offer includes annual pay increases that could earn an experienced official more than 200,000 annually by 2018. The NFLRA has disputed the value of the proposal, insisting it would ultimately reduce their compensation.Replacements were used in 2001, but only for one week of the regular season before a deal was reached.This year's replacements have had some errors, particularly late in Arizona's 20-16 victory over Seattle when the Seahawks were awarded an extra timeout. The officiating crew admitted its mistake after the game.
NEW ORLEANS -- The Boogie-and-Brow era in New Orleans is off to a highly inauspicious start.
The Pelicans' tandem of newly acquired All-Star DeMarcus Cousins and All-Star Game MVP Anthony Davis was no match for the surging Houston Rockets on Thursday night.
Reserve Lou Williams hit seven 3-pointers and scored 27 points in his Rockets debut after a trade from the Lakers, and Houston crushed New Orleans, 129-99.
Davis had 29 points, and Cousins finished with 27 points and 14 rebounds after he was acquired from Sacramento during the break. But New Orleans turned the ball over 20 times couldn't keep pace with the firepower of the Rockets, who hit 20 3-pointers.
Houston led by as many as 35 points when Gordon's free throws made it 100-65 late in the third quarter.
After New Orleans acquired Cousins, nicknamed "Boogie," in a deal involving five players and two draft choices, Pelicans general manager Dell Demps hoped Cousins and Davis would thrive playing off one another while point guard Jrue Holiday initiated offensive sets. But Holiday had arguably his worst game this season, turning the ball over seven times and finishing with only six points and four assists.
The crowd was charged up for both Cousins' debut and Davis' resumption of a sensational season following his record 52-point performance on Sunday.
Both players received rousing receptions during introductions and the crowd roared when Cousins hit a jumper for games' first points.
Cousins and Davis each scored eight in the first quarter, but it was also apparent that the integration of new personnel had New Orleans a bit out of sync. The Pelicans turned the ball over 12 times in the first half, leading to 17 Rockets points.
The Rockets also hit nine 3s in the opening half, including three each by Gordon and Williams, and led 66-50 at halftime.
By the end of the third quarter, the crowd that had been so rowdy at tip-off was starting to file out with their team down 100-67.
Rockets: Houston has won seven of the past eight meetings. ... The Rockets hit at least 10 3s in a game for the 55th time in 59 games this season. ... The Rockets, now 41-18, have matched their win total for all of last season.
Pelicans: Before the game, New Orleans waived F Terrence Jones and signed G/F Hollis Thompson to a 10-day contract. Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said Jones, who joined New Orleans on a one-year contract this season, was released to help him find a team where he could play more. Thompson played a little more than four minutes and scored three points. ... The Pelicans are now 14-16 at home.
Rockets: Host Minnesota on Saturday night.
Pelicans: Visit Dallas on Saturday night.
OAKLAND -- For the first time in nearly four weeks, the Warriors will take the court Thursday night with their regular starting lineup.
Center Zaza Pachulia, out since Jan. 29 with a strained rotator cuff, was cleared to play and will return to his status as the starting center when the Warriors face the Clippers at Oracle Arena, coach Steve Kerr said in his pregame news conference.
Backup center David West, who has been out since Jan. 18 with a fractured thumb, also received clearance and will be available.
JaVale McGee, who performed well while starting eight games in place of Pachulia, will return to his normal role, playing spot minutes off the bench.
“I considered either way, but I think we had a good groove with Zaza as a starter,” Kerr said. “And JaVale was still making an impact when Zaza was starting, bringing him in midway through the first quarter. We hadn’t done it the other way.
“I’ve seen JaVale with our other group, later in the first quarter, and that worked well. So I figured I might as well go back to what’s already worked.”
While Pachulia was out, McGee averaged 9.0 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in 16.5 minutes per game. Generating most of his offense on dunks off lobs, he is shooting 74.7 percent (71-of-95) over his last 22 games and 67.8 percent this season.
Pachulia, who has started 44 games, is averaging 5.9 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists. He is shooting 52.7 percent from the field.